Training Services


Back Creek Kennel (BCK) offers quality obedience, force fetch, and started field training for both waterfowl and upland game.  Because kennel space is limited, I make it a practice to not have more than two dogs in at a time for training.  This allows me to spend quality time with your dog in a more structured, and controlled environment.  Because I own and operate this kennel not only as a hobby, but as a natural extension of my waterfowling passion, your dog is not just a “number” like at some large kennels whose training time must be rationed with many other dogs.  In fact, practically all of the dogs trained at BCK eventually become a temporary part of my family, sharing play time with my other dogs.  The training season at BCK typically begins (weather permitting) in February and runs through mid to sometimes late summer (exceptions to this schedule do occur at my discretion). I typically do not take in any dogs for training during the months of October, November, December, and January unless special arrangements are made.  Not only do I have limited daylight time for training during these months, but it is also hunting season for me, which is the time I set aside for me and my own personal dogs.

Obedience Training

Basic obedience training is the first step in developing a top-notch retriever or family pet.  At BCK, the basic obedience commands taught include “sit”, “come” or “here”, and “heel”.  Additional commands that will be learned during the obedience training process include “kennel”, “no”, and “down”.   The obedience training process begins with on-lead yard work, then culminates with off-lead yard work using the e-collar as reinforcement of the training commands.  If your dog is to be used for hunting, I incorporate two whistle commands in addition to the verbal commands into the obedience training in preparation for future hunting situations or possibly participation in hunt tests.
As I mentioned above, I have very limited kennel space (I have dogs too!), therefore, I cannot keep and train someone’s dog from the time it is a puppy until it is ready to be sent back to their owner.  I really don’t like leaving a puppy at a kennel for training in that it doesn’t allow the puppy to establish the “bond” that I feel is so important between an owner and his or her dog when it comes to understanding verbal and visual commands and response expectations that are so important in the training process.  Such being the case, I would prefer dogs coming to BCK for obedience training to be at least 8 months of age or older (dogs that need force fetch training should be 9 months of age or older).   Dogs brought to BCK at this age not only allows the dog to be physically capable of performing the commands that they are given, but they are also mentally mature enough so that he or she can readily accept the rigors of an accelerated training process designed to accomplish the maximum amount of learning in the shortest period of time.  Let’s face it, most dog owners only want to part with their pooches for only as much time as they have to when they send them off for training.  When a dog comes to BCK that is both physically and mentally ready to accept the commands taught during obedience and force training, it makes for a much more enjoyable experience for both the dog and the trainer.  When I get a dog that is physically and mentally ready to learn, it allows me to complete a typical obedience training program in a 4 – 5 weeks, depending on the tractability of the dog.
 A complete obedience training program where the commands listed above are taught is $500.  This price also includes the dog’s owner furnishing food while the dog is at BCK. Since I have limited training slots available from year to year, a $100 deposit is required to hold a training slot.  As mentioned above, an e-collar is used in the obedience training process. Although is it not mandatory that you purchase an e-collar once your dog has completed the BCK obedience training program, it is highly encouraged, especially if your at-home training time is limited.  Purchasing an e-collar will allow you to apply corrections and help prevent your dog from regressing from the obedience level achieved when they were at Back Creek.   There are a number of different models of e-collars available to satisfy both the homeowner or the serious retriever enthusiast.  I will be happy to offer suggestions and recommendations for those that feel that they might need help in an e-collar selection.  If you decide to purchase an e-collar for your dog, I highly recommend that you obtain the proper training on e-collar usage BEFORE you place the collar on the dog.

Force Fetching

A complete force fetching (FF) program is also offered at BCK.  The basic FF commands, “Hold” and  “Fetch” are taught using time-tested methods that consistently produce the desired results.  The basic program begins with the dog on the force table where the command “hold” is taught. Once the “hold” command is completely understood by the dog on the table, the command is reinforced on the ground.
After teaching the “hold” command, we progress to the command “fetch” where a variety of objects are presented to the dog in an effort to teach the dog to properly pick-up (fetch), hold, and then deliver an object to hand.  The beginning or initial “fetch” commands are taught while the dog is on the table.  When the dog has become proficient at reaching for an object while under restraint on the table, the dog is taken off the table, and the “fetch” command is reinforced on the ground.  Force Fetch training for most dogs can be accomplished in roughly thirty (30) days, however, some dogs may take anywhere from five to seven weeks to adequately complete force training.  It is not unusual for a Boykin Spaniel to need more than thirty days to complete a force fetch training program.  The charge for the force fetch training program is $500 per month with a $100 deposit required to reserve a training slot.

Over-Night Stays

Occasionally, I will get request to keep a dog when their owner has to go out of town.  If kennel space is available, I can keep one or more dogs in my shaded, outdoor kennel.   As noted above, kennel space and availability is an important consideration, therefore, arrangements for over-night stays should be made well in advance of need.  Dogs staying at Back Creek typically receive twice-a-day exercise (weather permitting), which is designed to accommodate house-broken dogs that need the opportunity to relieve themselves.  All dogs staying at Back Creek must be up-to-date on all immunizations as well as parasite preventatives. The current over-night fee is ten dollars ($10) per night in addition to the owner furnishing the dog’s food.   In the winter months, shavings and/or straw is added to their bedding for insulation.  I do not have access to indoor kenneling and I do not offer over-night stays for cats.    Further info on kennel availability can be requested by sending me a message through my web site, Back Creek Kennel Face Book page, or by calling me at one of the numbers listed.
At Back Creek Kennel, I have access to a variety of field and water sites that can challenge even the best retrievers.  Please contact me either by phone or at the link listed on my web site for more information on the training and/or boarding services that are currently available or to get your dog on my training list.